Training your German Shepherd to walk on a leash
Because German shepherds are relatively large dogs and they have most of their muscles in their shoulders and chest, they can quickly get out of hand if they are not taught how to walk on a leash from a young age. The best way to walk your dog is on a relatively short lease, with your dog on your left side.
Your Shepherd should walk beside you
The dog should walk beside you, not in front of you. Not only is this safer for your dog (he won’t be leading the way around corners or out into the street), this is safer for you, as he won’t be weaving back and forth in front of you. Here are some basic steps to teach your German Shephed dog to walk on a leash.
Get a shorter leash.
Most owners look for long leashes for big dogs, so their dog has room to walk and play of his own accord. Especially when first teaching your dog to walk on a leash, in an urban or suburban setting, you need to teach him first to walk politely by your side. This is best done with a short leash.
Lure him to the right spot with treats.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to train a dog to do anything and walking on a leash is no exception. If you want to teach him to walk on a leash a certain way, give him a treat and verbal praise when he gets to that position.
Make sure he associates his leash with playtime.
Dogs too often feel like they are going on a mission when they put on their leash. They should, instead, associate their leash with fun! You can do this by, before ever taking your dog out on a walk, putting your leash on him and just playing with him in your house or yard.
Encourage him every step of the way.
At some point, especially if you are leash training a German shepherd puppy, he will sit down at refuse to go any further. The best way to get him to keep moving is to lure him with a treat.
Throughout this process, it is important for you not to tire him out, especially if he is young, as this can create a negative association with the leash that can make walking difficult in the future.